March 2nd, 2004

beach bum


Dr Jeffery Sachs, Professor of International Development at Harvard University, considered by the New York Times to be the most important economist in the world, wrote a good article on Haiti. I read it in De Volkskrant, yet can't find the original article elsewhere on the web in English. Hence no link.

Anyway, Sachs, director of the Earth institute from the Columbia University in New York (this guy has many functions...), says that the troubles in Haiti were predictable. Ever since the Republicans came into power in the US, that country did everything to get rid of Aristide, who needed help of Clinton to get back into power early nineties.

Obviously if you are living in the poorest country of the western hemisphere and companies, institutions get bullied not to work with you/help you, this will end in chaos. Exactly that is what happened in Haiti the last month.

Less than 4 years ago I was one of the very few tourists who visited Haiti during the last decade. I was only there for 5 days, enjoyed the capital, tried to understand the culture, but couldn't get through to the people. Even though I can manage a conversation in French, the automatic suspicion against any white person that they meet, was too much too overcome.

The newsletter I wrote then is still to be read via:

I should be really angry for anyone who caused this situation. Yet I have come to expect this by now. Instead I feel for the people of Haiti.
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